There have been whispers circulating about gaining popularity of the sport of kayaking and paddle boarding in the West Point/La-Grange areas. We found one of our local sportsmen/business owners to be a large part of feeding this passion and expanding the way we are able to enjoy our lakes and rivers.
Matt Headrick grew up on the lake and since that time his life has revolved around the enjoyment of water. “I had a passion for the water…enjoyed being on the lake or the river… fishing or playing.” In high school he started a pond management business, focused on the care and landscaping of private ponds. This business continued through his college years and then expanded into the construction of docks. From this came the founding of his company GLL Marine, which specializes in the construction of docs, seawalls and boat lifts.
So how did this all evolve into a riverside kayak/paddle boarding service and the expansion of a new river sport for locals? Well, it has to do with Matt’s philanthropic heart.
About three years ago Matt and his team opened a retail store in LaGrange to sell lake related items and part of that included renting kayaks. West Point Police Chief Bailey hosted a fundraiser – a kayak race – and Matt donated his kayaks for the race, which ended in West Point. About a week and a half after the fundraising event, Ed Moon, the city manager contacted Matt and asked them to consider adding a location on the water in West Point. Recognizing the location was able to offer locals and visitors a new way to experience the water, Matt and his team opened their doors just a few short months ago. Since that time they have been shuttling folks of all ages up and down the river to have, in some cases, their first experience on a kayak and/or a paddle board. The key was that they water in the location is not a heavy current, allowing all to enjoy the sport. They took us to one of the more popular drop off sites and we would agree that this sport is one that many would find enjoyable! You can race competitively, float along while taking in the scenery or cast a line to catch a fish or two. GLL Outdoors also sponsors the Chattahoochee Kayak Anglers and the Chattahoochee River Keepers who host events in the area throughout the year. You can visit their website at gllmarine.com to learn more about the kayak/paddle board services they provide and upcoming events.